Ancient plaster: casting light on a forgotten sculptural material

6 Apr 2020 - 7 Apr 2020, 09:00 - 17:00

The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

This conference has unfortunately been postponed

Details about re-scheduled British Academy events will be added to our events webpage at a later date.

Marble, bronze, and terracotta are all celebrated materials for sculpture in the round. However, plaster, another noteworthy material in antiquity, is understudied and often absent from the archaeological record. Two major questions regarding the role of plaster in ancient sculpture remain unresolved. This conference, bringing together international experts including archaeologists, conservators, and contemporary sculptors, aims to tackle these debates. Firstly, we will explore plaster as a sculptural material in its own right and address the use of plaster models for the production of works in other media. Secondly, we will tackle the contested issue of life-casting in antiquity, assessing whether such casting was indeed used in the production of bronzes. Demonstrations of plaster working and casting processes will give participants a practical understanding of material and technique. This interdisciplinary practice based focus will facilitate collaboration between archaeologists and contemporary practitioners, enabling cooperative analysis of these important and unresolved research problems.

Conference convenors:
Emma Payne
, King's College London
Abbey Ellis, University of Leicester/Ashmolean Museum
Will Wootton, King's College London

Speakers include:
Farhad Fabian Burg, Gipsformerei der Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany
Amanda Claridge, Royal Holloway, University of London
Chris Dorsett, Northumbria University
Jane Fejfer, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Martin Hanson, Wimbledon College of Art
Nigel Konstam, Verrocchio Arts Centre, Italy
Dimitri Laboury, University of Liège, Belgium
Kenneth Lapatin, J. Paul Getty Museum, USA
Alexander Lumsden, Bronze Age Foundry
Kelsey Madden, University of Sheffield
Rachel Mairs, University of Reading
Eckart Marchand, The Warburg Institute/International Research Group ‘Bilderfahrzeuge’
Thomas Merrett, City & Guilds of London Art School
Veronika Tocha, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

Kathryn Tubb, University College London
Clare Venables, Ornamental Sculptor

A draft programme is available.

A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.

Standard Admission: £75 both days, £40 one day. Includes lunch and refreshments 
Concessions: £35 both days, £20 one day. Includes lunch and refreshments 
The concession rate applies to: unwaged / retired / early career academics (within three years of completing PhD) / students / disabled. 

Free entrance is offered to companions or carers of disabled visitors.

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